It was only last year that Keir Starmer emerged as a figurehead for Britain’s anti-Brexit movement, pushing a reluctant Jeremy Corbyn into backing a second referendum on EU membership.
Yet Sir Keir — who succeeded Mr Corbyn as opposition Labour party leader in April and now faces Boris Johnson in the House of Commons every week — is selling the prime minister’s very own message: “Get Brexit Done.”
That phrase helped Mr Johnson win scores of Conservative seats and return to Downing Street as prime minister with a generous majority in the general election last December. That was because it found favour in the former Labour heartlands where there was majority support for leaving the EU: from Dudley in the West Midlands to Bishop Auckland in Durham, north-east England.
To try to claw those “red wall” seats back from the Tories at the next election — still four years away — Sir Keir is now playing down his previous support for remaining in the bloc.
The main plank of this strategy is to admit that Brexit cannot be reversed. “I accept that the Leave-Remain divide is over. The country needs — and wants — to move on . . . from this torturous debate,” Sir Keir said earlier this week in an article for Conservative-supporting newspaper the Sunday…